SLS Papers (2000-present)

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    Construction of cooperative discourse: An analysis of interpreter-mediated discussion at a bilateral student forum
    ( 2019) Lee, Eunsun
    In East Asia, there have been an increasing number of multilateral forums organized by nonprofit organizations to promote mutual understanding and civil exchanges in the past two decades. Language becomes a major issue at these forums, in which participants often rely on voluntary interpreters to communicate with one another unlike many large-scale intergovernmental organizations that adopt a third language as their lingua franca. This paper explores the construction of cooperative discourse in interaction at a Korea-Japan bilateral student forum. In particular, it analyzes how participants strategically design their talks to enable effective delivery of their opinions and how the interpreter responds to those strategies by actively reconstructing the original speakers’ discourse. The findings identified two ways in which the interpreter played a key role in establishing cooperative discourse: by polishing the participants’ utterances while also maintaining the critical components of their mitigation and outlining strategies and by showing alignment with the speaker, the audience, and the content of the talks. These findings shed light on ways participants and the interpreter collaboratively display orientation to and discursively construct the institutional goal of promoting cooperation between the two countries.
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    #Blacklanguagematters: A case study of black identities in an L2 isiXhosa classroom
    ( 2019) Lewis, Taylor
    This paper explores the development of Black identity in a critical and culturally relevant beginner L2 isiXhosa course. While Black students have been a major focus in American education, little attention has gone to their identities in L2 classrooms. In African language courses specifically, Lee (2005) found that Black university students largely enrolled to connect with their African heritage. Van Deusen-Scholl (2003) classified these types of students as learners with heritage motivation. However, there has been little research on how Black students negotiate their historical-cultural heritage in a contemporary L2 classroom. In a case study conducted at the University of Hawaiʻi, four students participated in three twohour isiXhosa lessons designed to be culturally relevant and to critically examine their identities in relation to South African Xhosa culture. Along with survey and lesson discussion data, I interviewed students before and after the course to measure the development of their intersectional identities and perspectives. Drawing on a negotiated syllabus discussion, survey responses, and interviews, I used Rosa and Flores’s (2017) raciolinguistic perspective as a framework to analyze student perceptions of race, gender, and language to understand how the goals of these learners with heritage motivation converged with their intersectional identities and African heritage in an isiXhosa classroom. My findings show that the students developed awareness of their African heritage by shifting their perspectives away from negative outsider perceptions of Black and African communities. Their positive responses to the course relied both on the critical/cultural and linguistic content. This suggests that Black learners with heritage motivation value linguistic acquisition, and benefit from curriculum focused on the connections between Black and African cultures, exclusive of their historically linked oppressions.
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    Comparing receptive vocabulary knowledge and vocabulary production
    ( 2019) Michel, Jessica Fast ; Plumb, Emily Gazda
    Vocabulary development in a second language is a complex process that has broad implications across all domains of language learning. In order for language learners to meaningfully engage with academic content in the target language, they must have a strong command of the kind of vocabulary used in an academic setting. The Vocabulary Levels Test (Nation, 1990; Beglar & Hunt, 1999), which assesses receptive vocabulary knowledge by asking learners to match lexical items to a short definition or description, is a common vocabulary assessment in academic settings. However, according to Coxhead and Nation (2001): For learners studying English for academic purposes, academic vocabulary is a kind of high frequency vocabulary and thus any time spent learning it is time well spent. The four major strands of a language course—meaning focused input, language focused learning, meaning focuses output, and fluency development—should all be seen as opportunities for the development of academic vocabulary knowledge, and it is important that the same words occur in each of these four strands. (p. 258) Thus, in order to get a more balanced idea of learners’ actual knowledge of academic vocabulary for both passive recognition and active output, tests for measuring it in both arenas are important. Most studies of language learners’ vocabulary knowledge have focused on only the measurement of their receptive knowledge (Beglar, 2010). Some have also considered learners’ vocabulary production in a writing sample (Laufer & Nation, 1999; Zheng, 2012) and few have investigated vocabulary knowledge in the domains of listening and speaking (but see McLean, Kramer & Beglar, 2015, for a report on creating and validating a vocabulary levels listening test). For those studies that examine written vocabulary abilities, they generally focus on either passive or active measures of vocabulary. This study attempts to compare and contrast analyses of receptive and productive vocabulary size from the same group of students in order to explore how these two facets of vocabulary knowledge may manifest in different ways.
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    Critical literacy as a pedagogical goal in English language teaching
    ( 2018) Abednia, Arman ; Crookes, Graham V.
    In this chapter, the authors provide an overview of the area of critical literacy as it pertains to second language pedagogy (curriculum and instruction). After considering the historical origins of critical literacy (from antiquity, and including in first language education), they consider how it began to penetrate the field of applied linguistics. They note the geographical and institutional spread of critical literacy practice as documented by published accounts. They then sketch the main features of L2 critical literacy practice. To do this, they acknowledge how practitioners have reported on their practices regarding classroom content and process. The authors also draw attention to the outcomes of these practices as well as challenges that practitioners have encountered in incorporating critical literacy into their second language classrooms.
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    Hawaiian language normalization: An analysis of L2 Hawaiian speaker narratives
    ( 2018) Adams, Kapuaokekoʻolauikaulupua Angelina Leiko
    This study analyzes the degree to which the Hawaiian language has become normalized in a range of domains beyond language learning contexts for L2 Hawaiian speakers. First, two indepth interviews were conducted with two graduate students in the Hawaiʻinuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa (UHM). The interviews were then analyzed using narrative analysis and were organized thematically according to where students report that they use Hawaiian language in and outside of the UHM campus. The narrative data were then used to create a questionnaire to survey 32 students who are selfidentified proficient speakers of Hawaiian at UHM about where they use Hawaiian and for what purpose they use Hawaiian in different places and spaces in their lives. The data provide more insight into language normalization by showing where L2 Hawaiian speakers are using Hawaiian in their lives. The findings also provide valuable implications for the ongoing revitalization of ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi and give a clearer picture of L2 language use.
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    Modelling the perceived value of compulsory English education: A partial replication
    ( 2018) Marquardt, Amy
    The current paper reports on a partial replication of Rivers’ (2012) study which models the perceived value of compulsory undergraduate English classes in Japan. This study confirms that Rivers’ mixed methods approach identifies the value students, rather than governments and institutions, place on learning English by highlighting their motivations and investments towards using English as a foreign language. This paper outlines a recurring phenomenon of competing linguistic identity struggles between a nationalist identity and an imagined English user identity in an attempt to show the generality (Moerman, 1977) between Rivers’ context and the Balearic Island context. Although these students have different languages and come from different regions, the perceived values of the participants in the current study display similar perceived values concerning the purposefulness of learning English as foreign language (EFL) in reference to the increasing influence of English in non-English speaking countries. While this study uses similar mixed methods approaches to collect and analyze the data, it also highlights an additional selective code considering the EFL student values for engaging with English at the local level. Ultimately, the replication study not only confirms that Rivers’ model can be applied in similar contexts to identify the perceived value of compulsory English classes, it also discusses how the same understated and often undervalued student voices need to be addressed in ways like the ones seen in this study.
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    2016-2017 English language placement test (ELIPT) revision project
    ( 2018) Brown, James Dean ; Phung, Huy ; Hsu, Wei-Li ; Trace, Jonathan ; Harsch, Kenton ; Faucette, M. Priscilla
    The main purpose of the research project was to analyze and revise the English Language Institute Placement Test (ELIPT) at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa (UHM). All international students admitted to UHM are required to take the ELIPT before they register for courses at the beginning of their first semester of study (unless they meet the university’s criteria for automatic exemption from the ELI). These students had previously reported their scores on standardized English proficiency tests (like the TOEFL or IELTS) as part of their application for admission to UHM. However, for placement purposes the ELI needs more detailed evidence of the students’ language abilities in order to determine how the ELI could best meet their needs for support in English for academic purposes.
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    Whaddya call that again? Materials for teaching connected speech
    ( 2018) Nokes, James
    In order to examine the phenomena of connected speech and the place technology has in its instruction, I must first examine the developments in speaking and listening instructor that have contributed to this area of research, instruction, and learning. The literature review, then, will present (a) an overview of current speaking instruction trends, (b) an overview of current listening instruction trends, (c) an explanation of connected speech and its features, (d) an overview of technology and computer-assisted language learning (CALL), and (e) an overview of technological interventions in connected speech instruction. Through my findings, I hope to explore the following research questions: 1. How do instructors and learners feel about pronunciation, listening, and connected speech instruction? 2. How do instructors and learners feel about using technology to mediate the above instruction? 3. What do instructors and learners think of a number of activities developed in light of RQs 1 and 2? 4. How does the research literature reflect the topics of pronunciation, pronunciation with suprasegmentals, and suprasegmentals with technology? 5. How can a series of pedagogical materials support the technology-mediated instruction of connected speech?
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    Developing online extensive reading and listening materials
    ( 2018) Reinagel, Raquel
    This paper aims to explain the process of creating extensive reading (ER) and extensive listening materials (EL) for learners of English. Four graded readers and four episodes of a podcast were produced in collaboration with other graduate students and faculty at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Although a direct learner population is not specified, these materials were designed for second/foreign English language learners preparing for or entering their first years at an English medium university. The main goals of this paper are to: 1. Explain my materials development process 2. Explain the pitfalls and solutions that occur during the materials development process 3. Show what materials exist online that can be used for extensive reading and listening
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    Complexity, accuracy, and fluency measures in oral pre-task planning: A synthesis
    ( 2017) Suzuki, Mitsuko
    Over the past few decades, researchers have investigated planning as a significant process in task-based language teaching (TBLT). Past studies have supported the effectiveness of planning in second language (L2) learners’ oral production, especially in terms of fluency (e.g., Foster & Skehan, 1996; Gilabert, 2007; Ortega, 1999; Sasayama & Izumi, 2012; Yuan & Ellis, 2003). However, considering the influence of planning on accuracy (e.g., Foster & Skehan, 1999; Lee & Oh, 2007; Mehnert, 1998; Mochizuki & Ortega, 2008) and complexity (e.g., Bei, 2010; Kawauchi, 2005; Nitta, 2007; Wang & Song, 2015; Wigglesworth, 1997; Yuan, 2001), research has yielded mixed results. One of the reasons for this inconsistency in results may be the different units that studies have used to measure complexity, accuracy, and fluency (CAF). This variety makes comparisons among pre-task planning studies difficult (Ellis, 2009b). Although researchers in CAF have commented on this issue at large (e.g., Lambert & Kormos, 2014: Plonsky & Kim, 2016), they have not yet focused directly on pre-task planning. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to spark the discussions around the use of CAF measures by synthesizing existing pre-task planning studies and comparing the CAF measures employed in a set of selected studies. A number of quantitative studies conducted between 1995 and 2016 were selected based on a set of inclusion criteria. In order to investigate the overall role of strategic planning in oral tasks, special focus was given to CAF measures and the operationalization of pre-task and main task, including (a) the instruction given prior to the planning, (b) type of pre-task planning activity, (c) length of planning time, and (d) type of main task. More than 200 studies were collected in the initial phase, of which 40 were selected for comparison. The overview of this research process and the findings will be presented after a brief review of existing pre-task planning studies. Finally, the paper will conclude with a discussion of how researchers can use CAF measures to develop a deeper understanding of pre-task planning.